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Friday, January 8, 2016

Detailed Oahu Nuptials

Words by Sydney Bowen
Photos courtesy of Creatrix Photography

Meghan and Chase decided they were ready for a change from their busy lives in Washington D.C. following their November 2013 engagement. “We hatched a plan to quit our jobs, get rid of our stuff and travel,” says Meghan. A destination wedding in Hawaii seemed like the perfect idea once the traveling duo landed in Hawaii after 5 months spent in Southeast Asia with nothing but their backpacks.

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“We consider ourselves a pretty adventurous couple and we wanted our friends and family to experience some of what we experienced on our travels, through our wedding,” says Meghan. “Namely, a chance to get away from the hustle and bustle and see, try and feel something new and different.”

The idea of a tropical vacation and a wedding in one was exciting and appealing to everyone on Meghan and Chase’s guest list. However, once it came time to committing to the event, not all of the guests were on board. “The distance and travel time were prohibitive for many of our invitees,” says Meghan. “They couldn’t just pop over for a weekend.”

Their Hawaiian “I do’s” were held at the Loulu Palm Estate, located in Haleiwa, Oahu.

Despite travel costs and some guests not being able to make the trip, the couple still ended up with a good number of guests in attendance. “We ended up with about 50 guests making the trip, the perfect intimate and inclusive size.”

A plus side to only about a third of the invited guests attending was that many of the guests were able to turn the wedding celebration into a vacation of their own.

“Virtually everyone who made the trip stayed for at least a week and we planned a full schedule of optional activities so we could spend time with each person,” says Meghan. “There was a booze cruise, a snorkeling adventure, a jungle waterfall hike, a kayak trip to offshore islands and more.” Turning their special day into a weeklong celebration with loved ones ensured a memorable trip for everyone involved.

To help minimize costs during peak wedding season, Meghan and Chase tied the knot on a Wednesday. Despite having their nuptials in the middle of the week, that didn’t minimize the fun factor. “The party didn’t stop once the reception shut down on Wednesday night,” says Meghan. Chase and Meghan also helped cut costs by prioritizing what parts of the wedding they would like to spend more or less money on.

The couple turned to the Internet to research the best spot for their wedding. They discovered Loulu Palm Estate and fell in love after seeing its secluded, ocean-side location and the fact that the property is also a native plant nursery for the Hawaiian Loulu Palm.

Despite the work it took planning a destination wedding, Meghan and Chase were able to pull it off thanks to visiting a local wedding expo, online research and building a thorough wedding website. “The most valuable thing we took away from the expo was what we didn’t want.” Attending an expo in Honolulu helped the couple determine things they wanted and helped them make connections with different local vendors.

One vendor who proved to be an asset to the wedding was Cherish of Jiwa Jiwa Press. “We later commissioned Cherish to design and hand-stamp custom letterpress star charts featuring the Hawaiian constellations in the night sky the week of our wedding, which we gave as one of our guest favors.”

Meghan and Chase were very hands-on in their planning, from cutting their own napkins to potting succulent centerpieces. Every aspect of their wedding had a personal touch. They also enlisted the help of wedding coordinator Julian and CoCo.

Travel logistics proved to be a tad tricky, with some guests staying over an hour away from one another. To help organize activities amongst guests, Meghan and Chase sent out informtion to those who had RSVP’d to the wedding, which gave everyone each other’s contact and lodging information.

Although some invitees were unable to make the trip, Meghan and Chase couldn’t have been happier with who was in attendance. “We knew it wasn’t easy for the ones who did make it and their dedication made us feel that much more special,” says Meghan.

For other brides and grooms-to-be planning their wedding away, Meghan says, “Be open to the unexpected and go with it, sometimes the biggest and most unanticipated curveballs make for the most memorable moments.” 

Vendors: Photographer: Jenna Heard of Creatrix Photography, Wedding Planner: Julian and CoCo, Ceremony/Reception Site: Loulu Palm Estate, Florist: Lin’s Lei, Invitations: Minted, Cake: Hokulani Bake Shop, Hair & Makeup: Sarah Obringer at Whik’d Hawaii, Gown Designer: WHITE by Vera Wang, Groom’s Clothing Designer: Calvin Klein, Bridesmaids Clothing Designer: Joanna August, Groomsmen’s Clothing Designer: Calvin Klein, Catering: Elephant Truck, Live Music: Chris Salvador, Furniture: Event Essentials Hawaii, Reception Equipment: Pacific Party Rentals, Letterpress Favors: Cherish with Jiwa Jiwa Press.

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